VARIOUS: PRESIDENT BUSH'S NOMINEE FOR US. ATTORNEY GENERAL JUDGE ALBERTO GONZALES EXPECTED TO FACE TOUGH...
- Title: VARIOUS: PRESIDENT BUSH'S NOMINEE FOR US. ATTORNEY GENERAL JUDGE ALBERTO GONZALES EXPECTED TO FACE TOUGH QUESTIONS ON U.S. TORTURE POLICY DURING SENATE JUDICIARY HEARINGS
- Date: 5th January 2005
- Summary: (U7) DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (FILE JANUARY 2004) (REUTERS) U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT WALKING INTO A MEETING
- Reuters ID: LVAAGA4Z4TYQQ8N0N2C02H35E53T
- Location: WASHINGTON,D.C. UNITED STATES/BAGHDAD, IRAQ/DAVOS, SWITZERLAND/GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:11
- Topics: General,Politics
- Story Text: President Bush's nominee for top cop will face tough
questions on the U.S. tourture policy.
Bush administration memos on interrogating Iraqi
prisoners that critics said opened the way for torture in
Abu Ghraib will be highlighted this week at confirmation
hearings for his designated attorney general.
Democratic senators plan to grill Alberto Gonzales, the
White House legal counsel, during Senate Judiciary
Committee hearings on Thursday, particularly about legal
memos to the administration discussing policy on
interrogation and torture.
On Wednesday (January 5) a group of civil right groups
sent a letter to members of the Senate committee tasked
with confirming Gonzales, offering their concerns about the
nominee. "Aspects of Judge Gonzales' record are extremely
troubling. We are particularly concerned about reports
that we have seen and read and documented, About the role
Judge Gonzales played in the development of policy
regarding torture, detention and the interrogation of
detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo and
elsewhere, " said Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Twelve retired military leaders, including a former
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the former leader
of the U.S. Central Command, have also taken the unusual
step of sending a letter to the committee expressing "deep
concern" about the nomination of Gonzales, who is expected
to be confirmed to replace John Ashcroft.
They urged the senators to question Gonzales in
particular about a January 25, 2002, memo he wrote to Bush
calling parts of the Geneva Conventions on prisoner
treatment "quaint" and obsolete and saying they should not
be applied to the conflict in Afghanistan.
They also suggested asking Gonzales if he believes
torture or other forms of inhuman treatment may lawfully be
used by U.S. authorities as long as the detainee is an
An August 2002 memo addressed to Gonzales, who approved
it and gave it to President Bush, said that only the most
severe types of torture were not permissible under U.S. and
international agreements against torture.
This was replaced without fanfare just last week, on
the New Year's holiday, with a memo that gave a broader
definition of what could be considered torture and was
therefore unacceptable under U.S. and international law.
Democratic senators are expected to ask about the
August memo and its replacement, and other documents that
were made public over the summer amid an outcry over
prisoner abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and
interrogation techniques on Taliban and al Qaeda detainees
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Republican senators, like committee chairman Sen. Arlen
Specter of Pennsylvania and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, will
focus on Gonzales' successes as a son of migrant workers
who was the first in his family to go to college and who
eventually became a Bush confidant and top legal adviser.
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